Fabric Postcards with Packing Tape Transfers

I mentioned in my last post about making packing tape transfers that I thought I might use them in a postcard swap from ihanna’s blog.  Very frequently, when I enter something like this, I end up making something very far away from my original idea.  In this case, though, I went with what had been my first idea.  The pile of postcards above are my result.  Here is an overview of how I put them together.

First, I made several packing tape transfers- check out my previous post linked above for the details.  I then pulled out my big box of hand-dyed fabric scraps left over from previous projects, dye experiments, etc., and tried to match them up with the transfers that I had.  I decided to go with a size of 4-1/2″ by 6″ and cut out what would become my base, some stiff interfacing.  I used non-fusible Peltex because that’s what I had ( I challenged myself to use only materials I already had in the house for this project):

I then cut out the fabric for the front and back of each postcard as well as a small piece of off-white muslin that I decided to use as a frame for each transfer.  Because each transfer varied in size, I hand-cut this.  Here’s a stack of all of the materials for one postcard: address-side fabric, Peltex, front fabric, muslin and packing tape transfer:

After cutting everything out, my first step was to use a couple of strips of Heat and Bond to adhere the main fabric to the Peltex.  This might have been a good place to use fusible Peltex or even full sheets of Steam-a-Seam or Misty Fuse, but once, again, I was determined to use just what I had on hand:

I repeated this with the rectangle of muslin, which I placed by eye.  I like general symmetry, but I don’t like it to be too perfect, so I don’t really measure most things like this:

I then placed the transfer on top:

For some reason, I forgot to take pictures of the next step, but it’s easy to explain.  I sewed around the packing tape transfer through all of the layers using a small-ish zig zag stitch.  I then switched thread colors to add a bit more depth and sewed around the outside of the muslin with a zig zag stitch.

At this point, I wrote  the addresses on my postcard backing fabric.  I wanted to do this before I sewed it all together so that if I made a mistake, I wouldn’t have to take the whole postcard apart to fix it.  In the past, I’ve also made fabric address labels that I ironed on after the postcard is all sewn together, but I didn’t want to do that this time. Once again, I ironed a couple of strips of Heat and Bond onto the postcard base.  Before doing this, I put down a piece of parchment paper so that there would be no chance of having the packing tape transfer melt or stick to my ironing board cover.  I don’t know if it would have really been a problem, but I didn’t want to take a chance.

I then sewed around the entire postcard with a wider zig zag stitch.  Here’s a close-up of one with all stitching finished:

A picture of all of the postcard reverse sides:

Here are a few pictures of the postcards a little closer-up:

These were really fun to make and now I just need to get some stamps to get them in the mail in the next day or two.   I’ve also been enjoying looking at all of the links showing the creativity of some of the other people participating in this swap. Check out the link to ihanna’s blog at the top of this post  to see the blogs of other swappers and a flickr pool of some of the images- lovely eye candy to me!



  1. Bridgit said,

    March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Wow, your postcards are absolutely stunning!

  2. Jaci said,

    March 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Absolutely cool, Karyn! I haven’t decided what I am going to do with my packing tape transfers (yet). :)

  3. Andria said,

    March 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Your cards are BEAUTIFUL! How great to make something so lovely from materials you have on hand. I’m doing Hanna’s swap, too!

  4. Viv Manning said,

    March 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

    These are lovely, I am sure whoever receives one of these will be delighted!

  5. Robin said,

    April 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Karyn! Wowie – I got your postcard today! It came through the mail all fresh and tidy! Thank you!!! I decided to use what I had on hand, too. That’s been my mantra for about a year now – and I still haven’t used up all my stuff.

    I really like the element you made with the packing tape transfer and the way you set it off with the bit of muslin. My old Singer simply refuses to do a credible job with zigzag, so I am jealous of (1) your machine, and (2) your skills!! LOL!

    Happy spring!

  6. Virg said,

    April 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hi I’m new at making fabric postcards. I can hardly wait to get started.

  7. gilda said,

    April 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I received your postcard. It is absolutely lovely!!! Thank you.

  8. TJ said,

    April 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Wow your postcards turned out beautiful! I bet the texture of that tape in the middle against the fabric is so cool. It’s really fun to come see what all the swappers did. Best wishes from germany, tj

  9. EWian said,

    April 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Wonderful cards!


  10. cowgirl53 said,

    April 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I love my postcard! I didn’t realize it was a packing tape transfer; it came through the mail perfectly. Did you dye the fabrics too? They’re so pretty!
    Thank you!

    • hinzkj said,

      April 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

      I’m glad to hear it made it through the mail in good shape. And yes, I did dye the fabrics. I’m so glad you like it!

  11. May 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

    […] Karyn Hinz […]

  12. September 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    […] addition to this project. (I posted the how-to’s of packing tape transfers awhile ago, and one way I used them.) In the past, I have used found images from magazines but for this project, I wanted to use my […]

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